Mothering and Life in General
The Dark Corner
As I sit in a dark corner, by the stairs in someone’s home, I think; if only things where different. I look down to my nursling, and I listen at the muffled conversations I am missing. I do this so I wont upset the strangers in this house, this house that is not mine.
I think back at the first baby shower I attended, where I also sat in a dark place by the stairs, in fear that I will make another uncomfortable. I fear that in this discomfort that I may cause someone else, that it will make breastfeeding more negative in society then it already is.
Now, as I look down at my toddler nursling, thinking if only I could continue the conversations, be apart of the jokes and fun times. If only I could see the gifts that are being open right at this minute. If only I could breastfeed my child discretely while still having my, me time with my friends. If only I could share to this soon-to-be-mom, these are the moments that matter; and that in these moments you can still be with friends.
Yet here I am, in this dark corner, while they are having fun. It’s my choice to breastfeed, my child’s right to nurse, however it is their choice for not letting me be apart of the fun they are having in the other room. I do feel angry for being put in this corner. I have done nothing wrong, we are punished for something someone else has done.
I think back to a time, in the beginning, where I did care about effecting another. I went into washrooms, I used blankets and the Moby. I did this because this appeased everyone, My daughter, myself and them.
Then the statements came in. “Are you still breastfeeding?”, “Don’t you think she is old enough to be on cow’s milk?”, “Maybe you’re just not making enough.”, “She feeds too often.”, “Your milk has turned to water, it’s not good for her!”, “When she is old enough to ask, she should not be getting it anymore!”, “Why are you putting her in that thing?”, “Let her cry, it’s good for her lungs!”, “You sleep with her?”, “You have to teach her independence!”and the famous “You’ll regretted it!”
After a few times of nursing my daughter in the dark corner I asked myself, why? Why do I nurse in the corner or under the blanket? Why do I care about hurting or offending another? Why do I care for these people, who don’t seem to care about what’s best for my daughter?”
It’s in these dark corners where I think. I think that I am fulfilling needs to those who, in the beginning, made me feel awful about the choices that are best. I am putting these people’s feelings before my daughter’s and mine. I am ensuring these people are not offended by us. When in reality they never cared about offensive ‘advise’ they tell me or about how offensive it is to feed my child in the dark.
It’s in these dark corners that makes lactivists who are called extremists. It’s these corners that make us want to be able to nurse in the light; just like our formula feeding counter-parts. It’s in these dark corners, that makes us think, it’s not right to be punished for the person who wake up one day to say “Cover up the breast, it’s only for man!”
So for right now, I will nurse in this dark corner, only because it’s someone else’ home; but don’t think for one flying minute when I reach public that I will have my daughter nurse in the dark. Don’t think for one moment I will feel ashamed that I nurse my daughter who will be turning 3; and don’t think for a second that if you keep flipping your lips that one day, someday I will wean my child prematurely.